“Am I standing in the right place?” Mieir asked ruefully as she got on at Lindbergh, headed for Buckhead. The Jonesboro resident had originally boarded at College Park, then mistakenly thought she had to change lines at Lindbergh.
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In hopes of easing her Monday morning woes, Mieir and her husband had set out on Sunday to locate the College Park station. But their GPS had failed to pinpoint it with complete accuracy and at a certain point Mieir told him, “(Forget) it, I’ll try my luck tomorrow.”
Success. Times two. Not only did she find the station Monday, she also found a parking spot at 5:20 a.m. -- “But the first lot was almost full,” Mieir said just before the train pulled into Buckhead and she headed off on the next leg of her adventure, figuring out how to get to her job at 3500 Alliance Center.
Volunteers are expected to gather at MARTA stations across the metro Monday to help first time riders.
At North Springs, the Loparco family was figuring out how to get to the airport. With a trip to Costa Rica beckoning, they’d normally drive to Hartsfield-Jackson from their Alpharetta home, Stephanie Loparco explained as she shepherded her 12-year-old daughter Francesca and a family friend, Hailey Jones, up the steps to the platform.
“The last time I rode MARTA, I was little,” Hailey, 11, reported. “Like, a baby.”
There was an added incentive at North Springs, where a retinue of remarkably friendly Chick-fil-A employees handed out free chicken biscuits to passengers.
“Not too bad so far!” one MARTA newbie exclaimed as she grabbed a biscuit and jumped on a departing southbound train.
Not everyone was a new MARTA rider Monday. But nearly everyone was having to make adjustments because of Atlanta’s latest New Normal.
Mary Helen Kamees lives in Midtown and usually drives to her job out in Sandy Springs and leaves her car there all week. She takes MARTA the other days and drives her car back home on Friday. It’s a best-of-both-worlds type arrangement that reduces her need to drive during the week.
Or at least it was until I-85 collapsed.
“I knew how awful the drive would be here this morning,” Kamees said just before getting off at the Sandy Springs station around 6:30 a.m. on Monday. “So I drove my car up here yesterday and left it.”